Miller Harris Perfumer was founded by Lyn Harris in 2000 having learned her art in Paris and Grasse. Whilst respecting tradition, (outwardly the stores pay homage to Dickensian London) Miller Harris strives to push the boundaries (store interiors are lit with Neon and bold prints) she creates exquisitely crafted fragrances that are at once innovative and timeless.
It all starts with nature – greens and woods, floral notes, iris from Florence, French violet leaf, jasmine from Egypt, and Tunisian orange flower. All of these precious botanicals are then used in complex and unconventional ways. They’re curated, combined and harmonised to create perfumes that combine Parisian elegance with London’s street styles.
Selecting a fragrance from Miller Harris is a whole different experience from buying a bottle of perfume in any other fragrance outlet be it Harrods Perfume Hall or the Perfume Shop on the High Street.
The first thing that I noticed was that this process wasn’t about trends or celebrities. It wasn’t about choosing the scent that’s plastered all over the glossy magazines. It was about discovering your signature scent. It was even more complex than that really because we were shown a whole library of fragrances that could be layered and combined so that you could find the scent that was just – well – perfectly you!
The other noticeable difference was that there weren’t any male or female scents. The masculinity or femininity of the scent evolves from the wearer and how the fragrance interacts with their skin.
The Fragrance Launch
So to the launch of Vetiver Insolent (available from April 7th). How do you express a fragrance in words? The traditional way is like so –
Top note: Bergamot Italy, Black Pepper, Cardamom India
Heart Note: Iris, Lavandin Abs, Crisp Amber.
Base: Vetiver Haiti, Tonka Bean Abs, Moss
But that doesn’t make me feel it in quite the same way as it was described to me at the launch. This may not be word perfect but it will give you an impression of what the scent is about.
Imagine that you’re in a garden full of beautifully scented flowers, formally laid out and then just in the corner of your eye you see a flower, growing alone, out of line with the formality of the garden but smelling just as sweet – that flower would be the insolent one. Not conforming but standing proud and beautiful just the same.
You can probably tell that I felt a little differently about the fragrances that I encountered at Miller Harris. The whole experience caught me up in the moment and took me away from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
There were so many more fragrances there in that one small store than I could ever describe to you but you can find them yourselves either in the stores or online. One that caught my eye was L’Air Du Rien by Jane Birkin. Yes, the woman who inspired the Birkin bag!
I took the photo above and then only when I edited it did I notice the glimpse of the Jack Barclay showroom. You see for me the whole evening was about feeling special if only for an hour or two. Walking across Berkeley Square, looking at the Bentley convertible in the Jack Barclay showroom and then experiencing the finest scents. You see, I’m a working-class girl that loves luxury but I’m pretty grounded so when I left Miller Harris clutching my engraved bottle of Vetiver Insolent I slipped back into the real world and went for a pizza with a blogging friend at Pizza Express!
What’s your idea of luxury?
This post contains PR samples. Thanks to @WeAreThirtyPlus for arranging the event.